French maritime authorities rescued 13 migrants in the English Channel as they were attempting to reach Britain by boat from France, AFP reported on Saturday August 31st.
The 13 male migrants were rescued by the coast guard and brought to the port of Calais where they were handed over to border police. Migrants who come to Europe in search of a better life, are taking ever greater risks to reach Britain from France.
Since January, some 1,450 migrants have been rescued either by British or French coastguards, more than double the number who tried to cross the busy shipping lane in the whole of 2018, according to official French figures released on Monday.
France has attributed the increase to the good summer weather, which has emboldened more migrants to make the journey. However, such crossings are dangerous given the heavy maritime traffic in the Channel as well as strong currents and cold water.
The body of an Iraqi migrant who tried to swim across the Channel to Britain was found off the Belgian coast earlier this week. He had been wearing a makeshift life jacket made of empty plastic bottles. Officials believe that the 48-year-old drowned after setting off from a beach in northern France, with currents dragging him into Belgian waters.